St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church was founded in 1897. Our father among the saints Nicholas of Myra, Wonder-worker, was the archbishop of Myra in southern Asia Minor in the fourth century and is also the basis for the Santa Claus legends and imagery which accompany Christmas celebrations in much of the world. While widely honored and venerated, not only in the Orthodox Church, but throughout most Christian groups, little is known historically of the life of Nicholas. He is known to have been archbishop of Myra and he may have participated in the Council of Nicea in 325. In addition to being honored as the patron saint of many countries, notably Greece and Russia, and of cities, he is the patron of many occupational groups, most notably of sea-farers. (Source: Orthodox Wiki)
Our church history is quite colorful. Starting with the mass immigration of Ukrainians to America to today’s Ukrainian Americans and now a new wave of current immigrants from Ukraine. The Ukrainian people came long distances, across the ocean, to seek their destiny in the United States. It was not an easy venture, but when they set out on their travels the anticipated good fortune overcame their fears. Arriving in America, they began a grim and rough life, but they were finally a free people. The better life, though there were hardships to overcome, seemed attainable in America, the land of freedom and opportunity. The city of Troy, NY in the 1800’s was famous for its mills and foundries. In those days, Troy was in need of laborers for the available heavy industry. In the year of 1886, the first Ukrainian settlers came, mostly from the western part of Ukraine: Ternopil, Horlyzi, Synk, and Lisko. During the first years the immigrants endured hardships. A “ghetto” way of life prevailed in America as people of one nationality of another grouped together into particular sections of town. But the Ukrainian people were, and remain religious, Christian people. St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church was established in 1897, and now, over 100 years later, we celebrate our wonderful parish and our American citizenship.
We want to thank all of the wonderful priests that have been here at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox church.
1897-1902 - Father Nestro Dmytrow. Reorganized the parish and under his direction bought the old Methodist church on the corner of Third and Monroe.
1903-1906 - Father Dobrotwor. Under his stay, land for the church cemetery was purchased on the boundary between Watervliet and Maplewood.
1906 – Father Dwulin
1907 - Father Fekula
1907-1908 – Father Joseph Szaplinsky
1909 - Father Bartish
1910 - Father Michael Struminsky
1910-1913 - Father Ilaray Yakimovich
1913-1914 - Father Nicholas Prodan. Took the responsibility to head the collection for funds needed to begin construction of the new church.
1914-1915 - Father Lukavsky
1915-1917 - Father Stephan Podlutsky. In 1915, the parish resolved to begin construction of the new church; on July 18, 1915, Father Dorozinsky, Father Karmansky and Father Podlutsky officiated at the blessing of the cornerstone of the new church. The blessing of the bells for the new church took place on October 24, 1915.
1918 – Father Volodymyr Stech
1918 - Father Nicholas Romanyk
1918-1919 - Father Nicholas Bodnik
1919 - Father Prodan
1920-1921 - Father Joseph Badnar. Was assigned to the Troy parish by the Ukrainian Orthodox consistory, in December 1920, the Troy church sent delegates to the Sobor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. From this time forward the Troy church separated themselves from the Greek Catholic Church.
1921-1926 - Father Yaletchko. During his time it was explained from the consistory that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church wished to remain independent without any foreign influences. Unanimously approved, the new name was to include Ukrainian Orthodox Church. St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church was named. Troy’s parish bonded to Metropolitan Lipkivsky in Kiev, Ukraine, also, in 1924 the youth league of St. Nicholas Church was organized and was the oldest Ukrainian youth organization in the U.S.;
1926-1929 - Return of Father Joseph Badnar
1929-1930 – Father Andrew Ivanyshyn. In 1929 a set of bylaws or constitution was created for the Troy church.
1930-1932 - Father John Hundiak (who later became Archbishop Mark)
1932-1934 - Father Kachyr
1933 - Father Kuryllo
1934-1935 - Father Dmytruk. Under his guidance, construction of the church hall on Second Street in Troy began.
1935-1953 - Father Ivansyshyn. St. Nicholas hosted the 7th Annual Convention of the Ukrainian Orthodox League of America;
1953-1968 - Father Myron Pacholok. In 1954, the “Burning of the Parish Home Mortgage” and the blessing of the newly constructed classroom in the basement of the church. The Dedication of the Ikonostas and Church Interior was completed on September 27, 1964.
1968-1972 - Father Theodore Buggan (the late Metropolitan Constantine). Instituted and organized the annual international arts festival and the Festival of Nations. (Click here for the official press release on his passing in 2012.)
1972-1977 - Father Kulish
1977-1981 - Father Oleksij Limonchenko. Our Parish Constitution was updated.
1981-1999 - Father Wolodymyr Paszko. Who was here for 18 hard working years, traveled from Elizaville, NY to Troy every Friday and leaving late Sunday, never missed a single service in all his years here at Troy and was always spiritually uplifting to all parishoners. He and his late brother, Fred Paszko, worked endless hours maintaining and repairing the church, church hall, and helped tremendously with monetary gifts. Under his guidance and leadership, the church was repainted and flourished, with many altar boys serving on any given Sunday. Father Paszko and his family are also responsible for restoring and reopening St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Hudson, NY and for building a church in Ukraine in the village where he was born.
1998-2002 - Father Bohdan Kalynyk. Father Kalynyk worked endlessly to renovate our church hall.
2002-2014 - P. Szewczuk
Present – Father Vasyl Dovgan.